In the desert southwest biodiversity is facing a changing landscape due to human population growth, expansion of energy development, and from the persistent effects of climate change among other threats. The 2012 Desert LCC science needs document recognized the importance of modeling and predicting habitat area, fragmentation and corridor network connectivity for a broad range of wildlife taxa. Tools and methods from conservation planning are available to address some of these issues, but tools to evaluate the expected benefits of corridors in mitigating climate change effects are only in their infancy. This USGS project will use quantitative spatial analysis and principles from landscape ecology to determine where...
This project will be focused on hosting 2-3 workshops in 2013 to train people to conduct the Springs Stewardship Institute’s spring assessment protocol and promote it as a standardized method. This will facilitate standardized data collection across the landscape that can contribute to a broad-scale inventory and assessment of springs, seeps, and aquatic resources throughout the Desert LCC.
Remote sensing to segregate grass and shrub mixed habitats in Janos Grassland Priority Conservation Area
The Bird Conservancy of the Rockies will use, combine and optimize an array of remote sensing techniques to identify the most efficient process that characterizes grasslands and level of shrub component in those grasslands. The project will classify a pilot area, the Janos Grassland Priority Conservation Area, which contains the majority of the Janos Biosphere Reserve, using a variety of remote sensing approaches. In the process they will identify the best techniques for decomposing grass-shrub intermix at low densities and identify the best approaches for large scale application of remote sensing to classify the desert grasslands and shrublands.
Developing tools for detecting climate change impacts on birds and their habitats in the desert southwest and northwest Mexico
Assessing the vulnerability of species or ecosystems to climate change and formulating appropriate management responses requires predictions of the exposure and sensitivity of the species or ecosystems to projected changes. This collaborative effort by the Sonoran Joint Venture, Desert Landscape Conservation Cooperative, and Point Reyes Bird Observatory will develop a foundation for monitoring environmental change in the desert southwest by identifying where and what to monitor in order to evaluate climate-change impacts.Climate change will not have the same effects in all locations of the southwest. Some areas will change quickly (hotspots) and others will change slowly (refugia). Identifying both types of areas...
Freshwater fishes are globally among the most imperiled major biodiversity groups and they are especially endangered in the North American deserts of the vast binational Desert LCC. Sixty seven native fish species of conservation concern are in the study area, which includes all of the DLCC in both the US and Mexico. Essentially all species in our study area are understudied and management of them has been greatly impeded by the intrinsic difficulties of working internationally and by relative lack of, or inaccessibility to, basic knowledge about their distributions and conservation status. We propose to mine data from all online and known US-based institutions holding specimen-based occurrence records from our...
The substantially natural hydrography of the upper Gila River supports one of the highest levels of aquatic and riparian biodiversity in the region, including the largest complement of native fishes and some of the best remaining riparian habitat in the lower Colorado River Basin. Native vegetation dominates the broad and structurally diverse floodplain, creating habitat for hundreds of birds and other wildlife. Two of the Gila’s fish species, spikedace and loach minnow, and a neotropical migratory bird, the southwestern willow flycatcher, are federally listed as endangered. The yellow-billed cuckoo, a candidate species for listing, nests in the Cliff-Gila Valley. Changes to the river’s hydrology, including peak...
Categories: Data, Project; Types: Downloadable, Map Service, OGC WFS Layer, OGC WMS Layer, OGC WMS Service, Shapefile; Tags: 2012, Conservation Design, Data Management and Integration, Desert Landscape Conservation Cooperative, EARTH SCIENCE > BIOSPHERE > ECOSYSTEMS > FRESHWATER ECOSYSTEMS > RIVERS/STREAM,
Developing a Geodatabase and Geocollaborative Tools to Support Springs and Springs-Dependent Species Management in the Desert LCC
Museum of Northern Arizona, Inc. will leverage tools previously developed by the Springs Stewardship Initiative to help resource managers in the southwestern U.S. collect, analyze, report upon, monitor and archive the complex and interrelated information associated with springs and spring-dependent species in the region. The information will be compiled and made readily available online. The Museum will further develop interactive online maps and climate change risk assessment tools of springs-dependent sensitive plant and animal species.
Sustainability and Vulnerability of Colorado River Delta Riparian Habitat Under Different Climate Change, Environmental Flow, and Agricultural Water Management Scenarios
Despite the lack of surface flows, the Colorado River riparian corridor in Mexico has proven to be ecologically resilient. Floods in the 1980s and 90s in the region brought back large swaths of native riparian habitat, which still persist today in some areas along the river. Because the historic floodplain is extremely important for agricultural production and therefore the local economy, habitat maintenance must be integrated with continued utilization of lands and water for this purpose.The riparian, marsh, and open-water areas found in Reach 4 provide critical habitat for both migratory and resident riparian bird species. Due to its ecological importance, the riparian corridor and Reach 4 in particular have been...
Assessing Large-Scale Effects of Wildfire and Climate Change on Avian Communities and Habitats in the Sky Islands, Arizona
Rocky Mountain Research Station scientists initiated a study in the 1990s on avian distribution and habitat associations within the Sky Islands. By re-measuring vegetation and bird populations following wildfires and applying climate change models, they will assess the singular and synergistic effects of climate change and wildfire and provide strategies for managing resilient forests and conserving the avian community structure. They will also continue and expand citizen science efforts to develop a long term avian monitoring plan, as well as simulation studies to provide optimal monitoring designs for avian species to detect changes from large-scale stressors.